Friday, February 6, 2009

Urban schools can work!

Fareed Zakaria notes in his terrific book, “The Post-American World,” the problem with American education is not the good schools. White suburban schools still offer an excellent education, comparable to those in Singapore, which may have the best education system in the world. Rather, the central problem is our bad schools. A great many kids being left behind and yet we know that investing in human capital is still a very good deal. Returns are very high.

Perhaps no one is doing this better than the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP.) Jay Mathews, long time education reporter for THE WASHINGTON POST, delves into the program and its two visionary founders both of whom believe that with proper mentors, student incentives and unrestrained enthusiasm on the part of the teachers, some of the country's poorest children could surpass the expectations of most inner-city public schools.